Smilde (2011). Health Seeking Practices among the Dinka in Rumbek East
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This thesis deals with health seeking practices among the Dinka in Rumbek East County, South Sudan. Different theories on understanding health seeking practices explain health seeking by looking at people’s understanding of the cause of a disease. These models do not give a clear and true image of reality, as often people do not regard the cause of a disease as a starting point of their health seeking. Therefore a new model is developed and tested in this thesis. The new model is based on the actor-oriented approach of Long (2001) and in this model the actor has a central place. The actor chooses between a varying number of options to improve his health. The decision made by the actor is based on different interacting influencing factors, namely experience, faith (reasoning based on values and faith), knowledge and practicalities. Also the influence of social surroundings in the seeking for health is regarded as important.
The thesis starts with an introduction where the model and the methodology are explained. The second chapter gives a thorough impression of the context of the research and in the third chapter, the model is illustrated with different descriptions of people in their health seeking practice. The fourth chapter gives a conclusion on the health seeking practices of the Dinka in Rumbek East. It becomes clear that different people choose different options for the same disease, and that one person can choose different options for different diseases, based on different influencing factors. The specific value of the model is that it does provide a better understanding of how people make choices in health seeking, by showing different influencing factors. It is advised to pay specific attention to all four different influencing factors in promoting a new health option. Often mainly the influencing factor knowledge is addressed but other factors are of major importance in the health seeking of the people of Rumbek East....